Culture creates meaning
People shape their environment and give it structure. Through this creative activity the world becomes recognisable, accessible and usable. Creative activity goes beyond immediate, functional use. Culture creates meaning and conveys joy in discovering and creating new things.
Architecture as a medium for cultural possibilities
As spiritual but also physical beings, people are shaped in their perception - and thus in their cultural life - by their environment. Culture needs space to flourish. Consequently, we see our task as architects in the design of buildings that create manifold possibilities and provide inspiration.
The importance of architecture in the German post-war period can be illustrated from a historical perspective. The example of the Tonhalle Düsseldorf shows how cultural buildings serve both to break out of everyday life in a positive sense and to uphold basic cultural values in difficult times. Düsseldorf's desire for a new centre for music and concerts in the city had already been articulated in the 1950s, and the answer was found in Prof. Dr. Helmut Hentrich's proposal to convert the old Rheinhalle into a new concert hall.
Remigiusz Otrzonsek, Senior Partner
"Culture is a basic intellectual foodstuff."
The value of culture today is still high, but cultural productivity does not automatically adjust itself: only if the right environment is available, can it flourish. As architects, we see ourselves as creators and promoters of culture.
An old face
in all its new splendour
How much further development can historical buildings withstand?
Modernising cultural buildings poses a particular challenge. Are the buildings able to absorb new requirements or do technical and functional improvements put a strain on the historical architecture? We attach particular importance to maintaining the architectural quality despite all adaptations to the present time.
Claudia Roggenkämper, Partner
"In ever more rapidly changing times, historical buildings are taking on a whole new meaning."
Culture is more than just high culture
As architects we deal with many kinds of culture. In addition to what is commonly understood as culture, we work with all cultural forms such as work culture, residential culture, football culture and many others. Because workplace, environment and lifestyle shape the cultural background of each individual and are reflected in his or her interests and preferences. In other words, cultural buildings are always a melting pot of different characters who unite in their interest in a particular cultural field.
In addition to the specific building objectives, it is therefore our task to create a place for everyone: a place for community culture. Here we benefit from our broad range of experience of various building typologies, which allows us to deviate from established routes in the genre and identify new forms.
German Football Museum Dortmund
A new cultural format
for German football
Cultural buildings are developing away from the monofunction: in addition to the classic functions, multifunctional areas are also needed: for events, courses and workshops or for urban uses such as community halls or citizens' bureaus. Gastronomic areas such as cafés also play a central role. In a world in which public space is becoming increasingly scarce, it is equally important to create "free places" in which consumption is not a required part of the visit.
Cultural buildings are close to our hearts, not only as architects, but also as users and visitors. This personal reference sharpens our sensitivity, our understanding - because we are part of the culture for which we build. Through their conception, the dialogue with users, our local presence and our participation in the current discourse on building culture.
Thanks to having offices based in many German cities or in the immediate vicinity of the cultural buildings we have realised, we know the local contexts, the specific features, we enjoy excellent connections and are part of the urban culture. This shapes our sensitivity for the place - the understanding of the city - and makes our solutions very contextual.
Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn
Change of use of the Parcel Post Office Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus
Conservatory of Music Shanghai
Filderhalle Leinfelden Echterdingen
Foyer of the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany Bonn
Jiangsu TV Lichi Theatre Nanjing
The German Haus der Universität Düsseldorf